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Stanford basketball got great news back in October when its leading scorer, Cameron Brink, announced that she would be returning for her senior year well ahead of decision time. The two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the year was eligible to enter the WNBA Draft in April but she loves playing college hoops and shut down any speculation about her future before it began.
I think I want to stay just because I want to just continue to be a kid. Finish my degree in four years, not rush myself.
It’s fun, college is fun. Why not stay?— Cameron Brink back in October
A large part of Brink’s decision to play for the Cardinal during the 2023/24 season stems from what she said about the college experience. Another huge factor in the equation is Name, Image and Likeness.
NIL has made it so that Brink can earn just as much money as an “amateur” as she can in the WNBA. It is probably more lucrative to stay in school than to go pro.
Brink boasts a $200,000 annual valuation per On3 ELITE and has more than 300,000 followers on Instagram and 150,000 followers on TikTok. She has deals with Celsius, Buick, Urban Outfitters, Cheg and Hyperice, among others.
Cameron Brink’s brand has made her one of the highest earners in her sport.
The average salary among 151 WNBA athletes was $102,751 in 2022. The minimum salary is set at $62,285 while the league’s top-paid players earn the maximum of $234,936. Some of the athletes have to play overseas during the offseason to make it a properly lucrative career.
Brink can make that money, or more, at Stanford. She’s a great player, but likely won’t see the top dollar of a star in the WNBA. Especially not as a rookie.
Angel Reese said earlier this year that she is making more than most of the top players in the league. Brink recently echoed those sentiments during an insightful conversation with North Carolina guard Deja Kelly, who hosts the NILOSOPHY Show.
Brink said that her NIL wealth has set her up for the rest of her life. If basketball didn’t work out, she could be self-sufficient. She
could would “continue to live comfortably.”
Brink also spoke about her aspirations in the NIL space. Fashion is a passion, and she hopes to create a clothing line that fits tall girls. At 6-foot-4, it is a corner of the market that Brink knows well.
Another part of the NIL component of Brink’s life allows her to be something/someone beyond basketball. She isn’t just an athlete, she’s a “layered person.”
Brink is not the first athlete who decided to stay in school, at least in part, because of NIL. Nor will the Stanford star be the last.
Brink is the epitome of what is so great about Name, Image and Likeness. Especially in women’s basketball, where the money is not there as a pro.